Updated: Sep 2
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In the penultimate Bridgerton book, we return to the clan to watch our youngest Bridgerton find her HEA! Will Hyacinth allow herself to be a bit uncomfortable so that she can actually find love? Will Gareth allow his family secrets to derail their budding romance? Listen in as a fascinating family diary reveals its' secrets and sends our lovebirds on the trail of some hidden jewels in Julia Quinn's It's In His Kiss! **To the victor go the Spoiler Alerts!**
Pick up a copy of this week's book, It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn, here!
Want to listen to a certain segment? Here is our outline this week:
0:00 - 05:06: Intro/Author Facts/Tropes
05:06 - 20:14: Synopsis
20:14 - 25:24: Parlour
25:24 - 45:11: General Discussion
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We are now including our synopses as a semi-transcription of the episode in our blog posts. You can learn more about how we compose these by reading this article. As a reminder though, our synopses are FULL of spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk :)
It's In His Kiss Synopsis:
Hyacinth Bridgerton has been out for four seasons now, and it’s all starting to feel the same for her. She has had a few proposals - all unacceptable - but there are no gentlemen who strike her fancy that are available. She figures though that she’s still got time - after all, her sister Eloise didn’t marry until she was eight and twenty, so Hyacinth is still good in comparison.
Her favorite day of the week are her Tuesday’s with Lady Danbury. During their weekly visits, they read passages out of the terrible-yet-entertaining Mrs. Butterworth and the Mad Baron, which include a lot of running to the cliffs, scaling the cliffs, and other breathy and dangerous experiences.
Hyacinth also spends a decent amount of time in Lady D’s company at ton events for two reasons. 1) Because she likes her and 2) it keeps others who she doesn’t want to interact with away. At this year’s Smyth-Smith musicale, Lady D guilts her favorite grandson Gareth to attend.
Hyacinth and Gareth have met a few times before and always have good conversation. However, he is a Rake of the First Order, and entirely unsuitable….and incredibly handsome. Plus, he is rarely seen at ton events anyway.
Lady Danbury though, thinks that her grandson would be perfect for Hyacinth, and lets her know that. Hyacinth brushes it off in her typical Hyacinth way, but this first meeting of our main characters leaves her a little breathy herself...and wondering if perhaps he might be suitable.
We learn that Gareth has had major issues with his father in the past. His father has always hated him and treated him extremely poorly, and for many years Gareth had no idea why. When his father summoned him home in his 18th year, he finally found out. Furious at Gareth’s refusal to marry their neighbor who was mentally disabled in order to secure more funds for the family, he finally spit out that Gareth was a bastard and he didn’t know who his real father was, as his mother refused to tell him. Gareth was quite stunned at this reveal, for he had never even questioned his parentage, as he looked so much like the man who he thought to be his father, to which his not-father replied was a cruel coincidence.
But since Gareth refused to marry, his father cut him off. And Gareth turned to his mother’s mother, Lady Danbury, who immediately funded his college years, and helped him gain the trust left to him by his mother as well. So now Gareth is a perfectly respectable, modest gentleman…..with a well-deserved rakish reputation with the ladies, but not at the tables.
In another cruel twist of fate, Gareth’s older brother had died recently, making Gareth the heir to the barony. His father hadn’t disowned him yet, but Gareth imagined that it was only a matter of time….as his father was obsessed with bloodlines and legacy. So he just sat quietly, avoided his father at all costs, and waited.
Our hero and heroine meet again next when Gareth receives a bequest from his brother, which turned out to be their paternal Grandmother’s diary. Written in Italian, he knows he’ll need a translator, but one that could be trusted to be sensitive with the information, in case there were personal details therein. He rushes over to Lady Danbury’s house to ask her recommendation…
...and forets that it’s Tuesday, which means that Hyacinth is there for her weekly visit. However, Lady D insists whatever he has to say can be said in front of her, but it turns out to be fortuitous, for Hyacinth can read Italian. Not particularly well, but well enough. And so Hyacinth leaves that day with the diary to translate.
This gives our main characters a lot to interact about, and Gareth finds himself intrigued with Hyacinth. Although normally she’s extremely outspoken, Gareth can often make her tongue-tied, and he loves vexing her this way. Hyacinth for her part, can’t decide what to make of Gareth. Her friends and mother notice the sparks between Hyacinth and Gareth, and ask if she’s set her cap for him. Hyacinth responds honestly that she doesn’t know, and her brother Gregory knows that means something, for she’s never not known before. But her family encourages her to explore a match with Gareth, for none of her other suitors have been, well, suitable up to this point quote.
“Of course none of those men was suitable. Half were after your fortune, and as for the other half- you would have reduced them to tears within a month.” “Such tenderness for your youngest child,” Hyacinth muttered. “It quite undoes me.” Violet let out a ladylike snort. “Oh please, Hyacinth, you know exactly what I mean, and you know I am correct. None of those men was your match. You need someone who is your equal.” “That is exactly what I have been trying to tell you.” “But my question to you is-why are the wrong men asking for your hand.” Hyacinth opened her mouth, but she had no answer. “You say you wish to find a man who is your match,” Violet said, “and I think you do, but the truth is, Hyacinth- every time you meet someone who can hold his own with you, you push him away…. “What I think happens,” Violet continued, “is … when something gives you unease - well, you don’t seem to know how to manage it. And you run. Or you decide it isn’t worth it. And that is why I’m afraid you will never find the right man. Or rather, you’ll find him, but you won’t know it. You won’t let yourself know it.”
Hyacinth does think about it, and she does realize that her mother was right. Quote
“...There had been a few people with whom she had not felt completely comfortable. Not many, but a few. There had been a gentleman during her first season with whom she’d been positively tongue-tied. He’d been intelligent and handsome, and when he’d looked at her, Hyacinth had thought her legs might give out. And then just a year ago her brother Gregory had introduced her to one of his school friends who, Hyacinth had to admit, had been dry and sarcastic and more than her match. She’d told herself that she hadn’t liked him, and then she’d told her mother that she thought he seemed the sort to be unkind to animals. But the truth was- Well, she didn’t know what the truth was.
So she decides to give it her best with Mr. St. Clair, because he makes her uncomfortable. And perhaps that’s what she needs.
The two meet at various ton events and do their best to talk about the diary there as Hyacinth translates it. Gareth also begins to find Hyacinth pretty wonderful as well, and starts to wonder if perhaps his grandmother is right, and Hyacinth would be a good match for him. The ton starts to take notice of the pair too, as they have been seen spending a decent amount of time in each other’s company. In fact, they even run into his father during a walk in the park.
This meeting goes predictably poorly, with both father and son spitting venom at each other, and Gareth is seething and ashamed of the interaction.
Hyacinth allows them to walk home in silence, but insists that Gareth come inside as she has something to say. She tells him that she’s always felt sorry for herself and others like her without fathers, but now that she’s seen how absolutely horrible it is for him, she knows that there’s a chance for some that not having a father would be a blessing.
Their relationship progresses soon after, when at a ball, Gareth is overcome with the desire to kiss Hyacinth after she comes to find him when she’s seen his father nearby. Unfortunately, Gareth’s head is swimming and unfocused, consumed with not only his attraction to Hyacinth, but also with his father’s recent words of “She won’t have you.”
However, they still have the diary to translate! And soon Hyacinth uncovers something truly exciting - his grandmother had hidden some very expensive jewelry inside their London home! And Hyacinth is sure it must still be there, and insists that Gareth’s father should not be allowed to find it, and being her normal Hyacinth self, convinces Gareth that they should go looking for the jewels together at night.
When they eventually do, sneaking into Claire house like a couple of cat burglers, they do find an additional clue from the first one, which makes the jewels seem all the more real. And since no one had uncovered the first clue before, the likelihood of them still being hidden was high. However, they leave for the night and hope to return in the future.
Meanwhile, their relationship continues to grow. And Gareth starts to think that Hyacinth would make an increasingly good wife and companion. And eventually, he gets permission from Anthony (who gleefully pours him a drink to celebrate, tells him absolutely yes, but good luck convincing Hyacinth), and wastes no time running over to Lady Danbury’s house (as it’s Tuesday) to propose to Hyacinth afterward.
Hyacinth does accept, for she and Gareth have become not only good friends, but clandestine-kiss buddies, and she knows he’s her match.
But as their wedding approaches, his father’s words start to get to him. He worries that his father is planning something - perhaps to out or disown Gareth before the wedding and humiliate Hyacinth. So he decides to do two things:
1, he tells Hyacinth that he is a bastard and doesn’t know who his father is. In fact, he’s hoping his Grandmother does and it’s in her journal. Hyacinth, has the greatest response ever, telling him that’s she’s grateful that her children won’t be related to such a horrid man.
And 2, he decides that he needs to sleep with Hyacinth before the wedding so she doesn’t back out.
And so, on the evening of their next heist, instead of waiting downstairs by the servant’s entrance for her, Gareth waits for Hyacinth in her room. And with kisses and flirtation he somehow gets her to forget (momentarily) about their mission and they have encounter number one. However, afterwards Hyacinth is raring to go, and so they do head to Clair house and find the next clue. Though they don’t find the jewels they do find the next clue, and so they leave.
Unluckily though, they see his father returning on the street, and while Hyacinth hides in an alley, his father says some nasty things that she overhears, including that his father goaded Gareth into marrying her. After all, he knew it would be easy to do, as Gareth does the exact opposite of anything he says.
Hyacinth runs off for home on her own, pretty furious. But Gareth’s plan has worked - she will not leave him.
A few days later, Gareth is trying to figure out what he can do to win her back. He’s wrestled with the fact that his father meddled in his affairs, but knows that he really does want Hyacinth and has to show her. However, she gets to Gareth first because she has found out in the diary who his father is! It turns out that his biological father was actually his not-father’s brother - so he is a St. Clair after all, and that’s why he looked so much like his….now-uncle!
But in those moments together, suddenly Gareth knew….and he abandons his plans for a grand gesture for something else grand. Quote
And then suddenly - He knew. Not that it didn’t all matter, because it did. But he knew that it didn’t matter as much as she did, that the past wasn’t as important as the future, and the family he’d lost wasn’t nearly as dear to him as the family he would make. “I love you,” he said, his voice finally rising above a whisper. He turned, his heart, his very soul in his eyes. “I love you.” She looked confused by his sudden change in demeanor, but in the end she just smiled-looking for all the world as if she might actually laugh. It was the sort of expression one made when one had too much happiness to keep it all inside. He wanted to make her look like that every day. Every hour. Every minute. “I love you too,” she said.
And then they have encounter number 2!
But, don’t forget! We still haven’t found the jewels! And luckily, that same evening that Hyacinth came to tell Gareth about his real father, he had been planning on one last trip to his father’s house. So they go together instead.
Well, they don’t find the jewels. But they do run into his father again, this time, with both of them. And Gareth decides to tell him who his real father is, and does get some closure because he realizes that his father-uncle doesn’t have a hold over him anymore.
And as they leave that conversation, Gareth has a very important question for Hyacinth. He asks her again if she’ll marry him because quote
“as you said, I did not ask you for the right reasons. They were mostly the right reasons, but not all.” “I-I-” She was stumbling on the words, choking on the emotion. He was staring up at her, his eyes glowing clear and blue in the dim light of the street lamps. “I am asking you to marry me because I love you,” he said, “because I cannot imagine living my life without you. I want to see your face in the morning, and then at night, and a hundred times in between. I want to grow old with you, I want to laugh with you, and I want to sigh to my friends about how managing you are, all the while secretly knowing I am the luckiest man in town.” “What?” she demanded. He shrugged. “A man’s got to keep up appearances. I’ll be universally detested if everyone realizes how perfect you are.” “Oh.” Again, how could a woman argue with that?
And then we have an epilogue!
It’s thirteen years later. Gareth and Hyacinth have ascended to the barony because his uncle-father died, and now they live in the London house where the jewels should be. Hyacinth has been searching since the day they moved in six years ago, but she’s never found them. But one day….their daughter notices a crack in the nursery bathroom wall, and prise her little fingers into it to see what it holds. And within, she finds a velvet bag full of diamond jewelry…..but then her mother is calling her so she shoves it back inside to be forgotten for a little longer. THE END